Coffee time ☕

Mehdi Younes Alloune

Discover, in this new March newsletter, the importance and role of a data analyst in a business incubator like Centech!

It was during our Coffee time that we discussed the job of data analyst; meet Mehdi Younes Alloune, our data expert!

The field of data analysis is a complex and important field. Thanks to analysts; with them, it’s possible to understand what the data mean in order to set goals and achieve them.

By talking with Mehdi Younes Alloune, we were able to understand the importance of a data analyst for the sustainability of a company, in many aspects.

Mehdi, can you describe your role as a data analyst at Centech?


” Well, my role as a data analyst at Centech is to take care of data collection, cleaning, transformation, design and modeling. All of the data comes from different sources. I make sure the data is compliant. I’m also responsible for data governance to ensure the quality of the data. In that capacity I have a number of internal and external clients I need to provide with reports and dashboards. In terms of internal needs, I prepare different reports for internal users, for team members, for senior management. I also submit reports and dashboards to the board of directors, for the general meeting. And that’s just at the internal level.


At the external level, I submit this type of report to the organizations that support our programs, such as the École de technologie supérieure, Economic Development Canada and the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie. These reports help substantiate what’s going on at Centech. Since we receive funding from them, the reports help us justify what we’ve been doing here. So I provide them with data, along with explanations of what it means.


Externally, I provide data for Startup Montréal, for their new Radar tool, and for the Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec (MAIN). I also provide data to Statistics Canada, and I’m the point of contact with Eurobusiness Network. I pass along data for benchmarks to them, and they help us connect with ecosystems in Europe. That’s why it’s important to fill out surveys every year, to get information from programs, workshops and the like. I also work with UBI, and I’m the point of contact for the benchmark for the Top 10 university incubators 2021-2022.


I provide this data from dashboards, reports, templates… That’s my role as a data analyst.


Also, I have another role, I ensure the integration of the different Centech systems with our different CRM databases. If we have a new software, a new application, I ensure the integration of this data. We work on several projects to ensure that all these integrations serve to bring data together and ensure long-term integration.


I also have another hat, because I’m the administrator for our Microsoft 365, so I’m in charge of creating access, I manage the SharePoint, the One Drive. I assist the internal users; I can also solve technical problems. I have a hand in maintaining our work platforms, and that ties it to our cloud. ”

What’s THE thing you learned that surprised you the most from the Centech data?


” I would have to say the capital that was raised. I was expecting startups to not raise a lot of capital, because they’re early in their journey… I think that number played a lot in our favor to be in the Top 10 university business incubators according to UBI Global.

I think the investments are great; the sales that the companies make in one year, that’s impressive. There’s also the number of applications to the programs. Whether it’s through our Acceleration program, or the Ai@Centech program with Thales, the number of applications impressed me. Sometimes I read the descriptions of the incubated companies and I find such relevant and interesting ideas. Investment, sales and solutions, that’s what fascinates me. ”

If you could have one superpower to help you in your work, what would it be?


” I would say it would be to have an intelligent search engine, which can help me solve all the technical problems that the different internal stakeholders encounter daily. Something that could even help me with my tasks. You know, something that really looks like ChatGPT. If it gives me the solution and performs the action, I think that would be what everyone would want in tasks like ours. With that, I could expose the problem and so it would be both detected and fixed. ”






Is it necessary to have a data analyst to maintain a company?


I would say yes. You know, a report or a dashboard from a data analyst, it helps the board of directors, the senior management, to make strategic decisions based on the data that the data analyst has provided. So, to make strategic decisions, to attract funding, you must make a nice picture of that data, because it can end up in big offices. The value that this data can bring to the company makes it very important to have a data analyst presence.


There are more than just those in my role. There is also, in other organization charts, a data scientist who is used to do other things upstream, preventively, for the future. My role as a data analyst is more focused on immediate needs. It allows us to justify and help with the decision. He does decision analysis. The data analyst must tell a story from the data, and that’s what helps to know the options, because the data speaks for itself. It helps to show anomalies, holes…


We’re not into big data, because we don’t really have large amounts of data like millions of lines coming in for streaming. We have smaller amounts of data, so one data analyst is enough to do all that. But it’s true that other organizations that are bigger than us in terms of volume, velocity, variety and veracity of data, they have complete teams of data modeler, data analyst, ETL developer, data steward, data scientist, data engineer…. etc.


You see, there are several data roles. Organizations that receive new data every second, or in batch, need a team ready to receive it.


If we take a solution, it starts from the data collection, the extraction of the data; that comes in the backend. This is the moment when you model, conceptualize, to know where your data will go. Then you do the extraction, the transformation, the loading. And from there, we move to the frontend, which is the visualization. This is where we translate everything we’ve done into dashboards and reports, so that senior management can make informed decisions. They want to see KPIs, performance indicators, and I ensure the fluidity of all this, from the backend to the frontend. ”



Communications – Centech

Mélina Cyr St-André